Quote Originally Posted by Jesus_Phish View Post
Yes, for defense purposes it'd be allowed. Would you get arrested in the US for defending your home with a baseball bat from someone breaking in, or are you just allowed pull out old reliable and go gungho?
Castle Doctrine (which I support, unlike concealed carry permits) says you are allowed to.

And honestly, I prefer it that way. Because if you really live in a neighborhood so bad that this is a possibility, you have a pump-action shotgun and the FIRST thing you do is pump it to chamber a round which

A. Tells the burglar you are armed
B. Makes the burglar shit him or herself and hopfeully leave

You seem to be taking everything to the extreme. You're aware that you can do things like body shots right? Which are much less lethal than a gunshot to the body. Hell, you even say yourself if Zimmerman had of just shown the gun, Trayvon probably would've thought twice about it. Same deal if someone has a bat or a club.
So there are no organs that can get damaged horribly by a shillelagh to the side? Or are we back to "If you aren't trained heavily in the use of improvised weapons, you aren't allowed to defend yourself?"

And now you feel that Zimmerman SHOULD have pulled out his gun and started waving it at a random person he suspected of being suspicious?

So because it COULD be used, if you pushed it to be a means to kill, defending yourself with something that's a lot less lethal is the same as a gun? I'm honestly not sure if it's because we're from two different parts of the world, but I see a really big difference between the two ideas. I already agreed a Hurl could be used to kill someone, but so could a glass bottle.
For the purpose of defending yourself and the attacker potentially dying, yes. Because unlike you, I am a firm believer in not forcing someone to "lie back and take it" just because it means the difference between potentially killing someone with a lethal weapon and potentially killing someone with a non-lethal weapon.

Also, where do you stand on knives? At the ranges they were at, a knife is of comparable lethality to a gun. So should I let someone cave my skull in because I play frisbee with my dog rather than "Hurl the ball with a shillelagh"?

He had a pretty big weight advantage and if Zimmerman was able to reach for a gun, which I'm not sure where he kept it, but if he was able to reach for that, at least one of his arms where free. Maybe the issue is that he had the gun in the first Really? Martin was 4 inches taller and Zimmerman only had a 27 pound advantage. In any fight, I would probably give the guy with greater reach the advantage, and those 27 pounds aren't really a major difference (especially because Martin was likely more athletic as he was a teenager in high school and Zimmerman was almost 30).

And either way: Zimmerman was a grown man. Martin was a teenage boy. Martin DEFINITELY has a history of misbehavior and judging by his proficiency at "winning the one on one fight", I would be inclined to say that wasn't the first fight of his life. And maybe things are different on your side of the Atlantic, but I haven't been in a fistfight since middle school.

Maybe you all shouldn't have guns. It's almost like it causes a massive load of problems all across your country. And carrying a hurl around with you is acceptable if you were going to play or train. People carry them to play fetch with their dog. If you strapped one to your back and tried get into a club or a cinema or most stores you'd be stopped and told to leave.
And now we know your real objection. Much like almost everyone else who commented on this case, you ignore the facts and push an agenda.

Would it make a difference in the appropriate use of force if the gun had fallen out of Martin's waistband? What if they were in front of a military facility where a freak occurance with a golf ball resulted in a loaded pistol falling out of a window and into Zimmerman's hand? Does that change the fact that Zimmerman felt his life was in danger and tried to defend himself?

If you have issues with a gun being there at all, then yes, I actually agree with you. I think we need MUCH stricter gun control laws. But that isn't about Zimmerman, that is about the American legal system.

So guns good, sports equipment bad. Quick, get this info to the NRA and shut down Champs.
No, you again misunderstand. I was trying to stay subtle, but screw it: If you are walking around a neighborhood carrying a big fucking club my first thought is going to be "... call the cops" not "Awww, he is gonna go play fetch with his doggy at night". If you approach someone and wave a BFC in their face, that is intimidation and probably some variation of "Threatening bodily harm with an improvised weapon". If you keep a gun concealed (and all signs show he did), all THAT is is concealing a firearm which was evidently legal for Zimmerman.

What if he did have a knife? Is Zimmerman by law, allowed carry a knife around? I looked it up, you apparently can conceal a knife. You can also conceal the following

electronic weapons or devices
tear gas guns
billes (billy bat)

So why not carry stun guns around? We've already established Zimmerman had no problem reaching for a gun, I've seen stun guns that are about the size of a lady shaver, so he could have easily gotten that, zapped Trayvon, got up and ran to a safe distance and did what he should have in the first place. And again, maybe if he just had a stun gun, he wouldn't have felt so brave about going after Trayvon.
Yeah, that is another place where hollywood and police propaganda fails us.

Stun guns are NOT as effective as the media wants you to think. Yes, it is going to drop basically anyone, but a determined attacker (or a druggy) is gonna get up pretty quick after. Also, if Martin was on top of him and beating the shit out of him, the stun gun and tear gas would have incapacitated Zimmerman too and really have done nothing but aggravate his attacker.

As for the billy club: Oh yeah, that would end well. It isn't like ANYONE has ever taken someone brutally beating the shit ouf a black guy with one of those as a signal to start a race riot (look up Rodney King).

But again, this is irrelevant. This is about Zimmerman defending himself with what was available.

No. But if you can't win a fistfight, it doesn't mean the other person has to die. You can both walk away from it with some bruises and shattered egos.
Again, you are ignoring a key factor. All signs pointed to Martin NOT deciding to walk away. Especially if a neighbor really DID scream "I called the cops." and "Stop!". Or what, would you feel Zimmerman wasn't allowed to defend himself unless he was beaten to death first?

I dunno if I'd call him a violent thug. One teacher describes him as a straight student while his school describes three times he was suspended. Sounds like he could have just been getting in with the wrong crowd. But you're right, if Zimmerman went waving the gun around, Trayvon probably wouldn't have gone for him. If he didn't have the gun, he probably wouldn't have followed. When I say he was John Wayne'ing around I mean that the gun gave him confidence, not that he was walking around spinning it around and practicing his quick draw.
Or he might have still followed the kid because he wanted to protect his neighborhood (even during the "he is an evil klan member" shouts people definitely acknowledged he was out there to protect the neighborhood, he was just an idiot).

That is one of those things that might get lost in the cultural divide. Yeah, America does some dumb shit and we tend to stick our noses where we don't belong. But there is also a reason that superhero comics are so much more popular here than anywhere else on the planet. We are a culture that praises the vigilante. For whatever reason (I suspect it is the lack of a lot of the government safety nets that Europe has), we don't really trust our government or our cops to protect us (And honestly, as someone who was basically abandoned by the cops in my hour of need, I am inclined to agree. Our cops are overburdened and overstressed, and a lot of them are fucking assholes who just want to exert their power over people, not protect them). So we tend to respect those who come to people's aide, even when they don't have to. Maybe that is the doctor who helps someone going into anaphylectic shock at a restaurant. Maybe it is the customer who tackles the convenience store robber. Maybe it is the soldier who is willing to risk his or her life to "bring democracy and freedom" to a "subjugated people" (that last bit relies a bit heavily on spin from the news stations). Or maybe it is the guy who stands up and patrols his neighborhood when the cops are clearly failing to do so.

Was Zimmerman being willing to patrol his neighborhood at night admirable? You bet your ass it was. Should Zimmerman have been carrying a firearm? The law says so, I am not so convinced. Should Zimmerman have approached Martin after the 911 dispatcher said not to: No. He should not. Zimmerman is a fuck-up and his stupidity led to the death of another man.

But here is the thing: Zimmerman didn't forfeit his right to not be assaulted when he went to go talk to Martin. Even if Zimmerman shoved Martin first, he did not forfeit his right to live by doing so. Hell, even if he said "Hey, kid. I like Street Fighter, let's throw fireballs at each other", Zimmerman didn't give up his right to live. If he started screaming "stop" and Martin continued assaulting him to the point that neighbors had time to come by and investigate, that was going beyond "I am gonna bruise your ego and walk away". That was in the realm of "Fuck you, I am gonna teach you a lesson". And call me old fashioned, but I don't tend to think teenagers are all that smart about knowing when to not be stupid (and Martin's history suggests this to be true).

And, most importantly: Zimmerman did not forfeit his right to live the moment he got a concealed carry permit/strapped that gun to his waist. Maybe you don't like his decision to do that. Maybe you don't like the US legal system for letting him do it (I sure don't). But just because you don't like someone. Just because you think they are a fucking idiot. That doesn't mean they don't deserve to do their damnedest to survive.